The last time USC opened the season against FRESNO ST, the Steve Sarkisian-coached 2014 Trojans hammered the Bulldogs 52-13 in front of 76,037 fans. That strong beginning wasn’t a precursor to an especially memorable USC season: the 9-4 Trojans surprisingly lost to Boston College 31-37 and were dominated by UCLA 20-38, but still managed to beat NEB in the Holiday Bowl 45-42.
2014 seems like a long time ago for Trojan football and under Clay Helton USC has developed a bad habit of opening disastrously, or unimpressively (ALA 6-52, W MICH 49-31, UNLV 43-21).
Helton hopes to save his job this season and reverse USC’s poor opener trend in the state-of-the-art, luxury-boxed Coliseum with a return to form against FRESNO ST, now coached by well-respected Jeff Tedford and coming off a 12-2 season and a 31-20 win over ASU in the Las Vegas Bowl. Fortunately for USC, the Bulldogs have lost a lot of talent from last year’s squad. USC is nearly a two TD favorite to successfully spring Graham Harrell’s new Air Raid offense on Tedford.
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